Space enthusiasts across the Mid-Atlantic can mark their calendars for the launch of the Antares rocket to the International Space Station Tuesday, Aug. 10, at 5:56 p.m. from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
The mission to low-Earth orbit is set to carry the Cygnus Spacecraft, and its 8,200 pounds of scientific and crew supplies, to the ISS as part of Northrop Grumman’s 16th Commercial Resupply Mission.
Areas of Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania will all have some vantage point of the Antares rocket as it heads to the space station.
Viewing locations on Chincoteague Island include Robert Reed Park on Main Street or Beach Road spanning the area between Chincoteague and Assateague islands.
The Virginia, Maryland and Delaware Atlantic beaches also provide good viewing locations. The beach at the Assateague Island National Seashore/Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge will not be open during the launch.
Live coverage of the launch from Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia, will air on NASA Television and the agency’s website, starting at 5:30 p.m. Launch updates will be available via the Wallops Facebook and Twitter sites.
According to the NASA mission overview, “hundreds of experiments are being conducted on the ISS in the areas of biology and biotechnology, physical sciences, and Earth and space science. This research helps us better understand how to prepare for future long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars, supports a growing space economy, and leads to developments that improve life on Earth.”
The current round of projects set to start include The Redwire Regolith Print study that demonstrates 3D printing on the space station. Also, experiments on cardinal muscle tests will be done to determine whether microgravity can be used as a research tool for understanding and preventing sarcopenia.
The Flow Boiling and Condensation Experiment aims to develop a facility for collecting data about two-phase flow and heat transfer in microgravity.
Lastly, tests on the thermal protection systems, CO2 scrubbing on an aircraft, and mold in microgravity are all slated to be completed.